Guitarist Eliot Fisk joins Shanghai String Quartet in performance

Virtuoso guitarist Eliot Fisk joins The Shanghai String Quartet in a concert of works by at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7, in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors and may be purchased by calling 207-786-6252.

Composed of violinist Weigang Li, violinist Yiwen Jiang, violist Honggang Li and cellist James Wilson, the Shanghai String Quartet has been hailed by the press and public alike as one of the leading quartets of its generation since its New York debut at Town Hall in 1987. The quartet now performs annually to exceptional critical acclaim in major music centers throughout the United States and abroad.

Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, the quartet took second place two years later representing its country at the Portsmouth International String Quartet competition. In 1987, the ensemble won the prestigious Chicago Discovery Competition and embarked on its extensive touring career. It has been ensemble-in-residence at the Tanglewood and Ravinia festivals and has made several appearances at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and “Great Performers” series. Its annual appearances in New York City have included the sold-out three-concert series with pianist Ruth Laredo at the Metropolitan Museum. Other distinguished collaborators include pianist Joseph Kalichstein, flutist Eugenia Zukerman and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

The quartet has made several tours of Europe, including stops in London, Hamburg and Milan. In early 1996, the quartet made its first tour of the Far East, where it gave sold-out concerts in Tokyo and Osaka. The ensemble was subsequently nominated for the Asahi Broadcasting Company’s International Music Award. The Shanghai String Quartet records on the Delos International label.

Eliot Fisk’s artistry has drawn standing ovations at major concert halls throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. His repertoire includes a large body of guitar music created by him through commissions as well as his own transcriptions of works by Bach, D. Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart and Mendelssohn. Fisk’s solo engagements are complemented by numerous concerto appearances with orchestra and in a wide variety of chamber music combinations.

Voted Best Classical Guitarist in the 26th annual Guitar Player Magazine Reader’s Poll, Fisk has performed for President Clinton and the King of Spain. The New York Times called his playing “bright, brisk, streamlined and modern.” Fisk studied with master Andres Segovia who called him “one of the most brilliant, intelligent and gifted artists of our time.” Fisk’s exclusive first performance and recording rights to a number of recently discovered Segovia compositions, resulted in Segovia-Concertos Populares, one of Billboard’s classical best-sellers. Fisk’s numerous recordings have received critical acclaim, including a Grammy nomination for Robert Beaser’s Mountain Song. In addition to his performing career, Fisk has a deep commitment to teaching. His class at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, includes prize winning students from a dozen different countries. A member of the faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music, he founded the guitar department at the Yale University of Music where he earned his M.M.A. degree.

The next concert in the Bates College Concert Series will be the Willem Breuker Kollektief, who will perform at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 26, in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall. Tickets for this concert are also $10 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors and may be purchased by calling 207 786-6252.

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